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August 03, 2017

Study: If you’re not getting enough sleep, expect a thicker waistline

The detriments to your body when it doesn't get enough sleep are numerous: We already know that a lack of sleep has been linked to depression, a screwed-up metabolism and a general sense of feeling salty.

Along the lines of the jacked-up metabolism you can expect when you’re barely clocking in a six-hour sleep, a new study has seen a distinct connection between a person’s waistline and body mass index that parallels how much or little sleep they’re getting.

Researchers from the University of Leeds looked at the effects of sleep on 1,615 people in the United Kingdom in a study published in PLOS ONETaking into account their average sleep times, diet, age, race, socioeconomic status, smoking habits and gender, researchers found a direct correlation between waist circumference and hours slept.

For people clocking in just under six hours, for example, the average waist circumference was 37.4 inches. For those getting 8.4 hours of sleep, the average was 35.8 inches. BMI averages followed the same trend: 28.6 was the average BMI for shorter sleepers, and longer sleepers averaged a 27.1 BMI.

The study also yielded better cholesterol results for those getting a longer sleep.

Surprisingly, the study didn’t show much of a connection between quality of diet and amount of sleep – subjects studied who averaged less sleep didn’t seem to have a deeper penchant for greasy, fried, unhealthy food any more than those who got a longer sleep. This conflicts with some other sleep studies, which attribute lowered levels of leptin and raised levels of ghrelin that cause your body to crave carbs and sweets, but that effect could be more felt with dire cases of sleep deprivation.

Check out the full study here and then get to napping.

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